In steam turbine control valves, pressure fluctuations coupled with vortex structures in highly unsteady three-dimensional flows are essential contributors to the aerodynamic forces on the valve components, and are major sources of flow-induced vibrations and acoustic emissions. Advanced turbulence models can capture the detailed flow information of the control valve; however, it is challenging to identify the primary flow structures, due to the massive flow database. In this study, state-of-the-art data-driven analyses, namely, proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and extended-POD, were used to extract the energetic pressure fluctuations and dominant vortex structures of the control valve. To this end, the typical annular attachment flow inside a steam turbine control valve was investigated by carrying out a detached eddy simulation (DES). Thereafter, the energetic pressure fluctuation modes were determined by conducting POD analysis on the pressure field of the valve. The vortex structures contributing to the energetic pressure fluctuation modes were determined by conducting extended-POD analysis on the pressure–velocity coupling field. Finally, the dominant vortex structures were revealed conducting a direct POD analysis of the velocity field. The results revealed that the flow instabilities inside the control valve were mainly induced by oscillations of the annular wall-attached jet and the derivative flow separations and reattachments. Moreover, the POD analysis of the pressure field revealed that most of the pressure fluctuation intensity comprised the axial, antisymmetric, and asymmetric pressure modes. By conducting extended-POD analysis, the incorporation of the vortex structures with the energetic pressure modes was observed to coincide with the synchronous, alternating, and single-sided oscillation behaviors of the annular attachment flow. However, based on the POD analysis of the unsteady velocity fields, the vortex structures, buried in the dominant modes at St = 0.017, were found to result from the alternating oscillation behaviors of the annular attachment flow.

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